Monday, October 29, 2012

Chicken and Cheese #Ravioli with pumpkin #Alfredo Sauce

Fall transports me to a whole new world....I love the festivities that comes along it.......Starting from Dussehra, Halloween and then Karvachauth, Diwali, Christmas and New year, there is so much to enjoy and  cherish..And to add on ,we have our anniversary, my birthday and my kiddos birthday falling in between these festivities,making it even more enjoyable.....To keep up the spirit of the season I love the most, here is a very very delicious Pumpkin recipe......Even the people shrinking their noses at the name of pumpkin ( I have two in my Family of three ) will ask for a second serving.......

All you need is ( serves 3-4 )

For the ravioli dough

All purpose flour-2 cups
Olive oil-2 tbsp
Salt-1\4 tsp

For the ravioli filling

Chicken mince-1\2 cup
Olive oil-2 tbsp
Garlic-2-3 cloves ( chopped )
Pepper powder-1\4 tsp
Parsley\Coriander-2 tbsp ( chopped )
Ricotta cheese-1\4 cup ( you can find the recipe here )

For Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Butter-2 tbsp
Garlic-2-3 cloves ( Chopped )
All purpose flour-2 tsp
Pumpkin puree-1\2 cup ( To make pumpkin puree, cut pumpkin into slices. Place the slices in a baking dish.Pour 1\2 cup of water in the dish.Bake in a pre heated oven at 350 degree F for about an hour.Cool.Discard the skin of the pumpkin and take out the flesh.Blend the flesh in a blender with very little water.You can refrigerate the puree for a week and can freeze it for an year )
Heavy cream-1 cup
Milk-1\2 cup
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder-1\2 tsp
Parmesan cheese-1\2 cup

Method of preparation

For the ravioli dough

Make a mound of all purpose flour on a clean surface
Make a well in the center of the mound
Add eggs, olive oil and salt in the well
Mix everything together using your finger tips
Add a little water and knead the dough
The dough should not be soft.
Knead the dough on a slightly floured surface with the heels of your hands for 5 minutes
Cover the dough in a cling film and keep aside

For the ravioli filling

Add oil in a pan
Add garlic
When the garlic is slightly browned, add chicken, salt, pepper and parsley
Cook till chicken is done and the filling is dry
Add ricotta cheese and cook for a minute
Cool the mixture
Blend the filling in a blender to give it a smooth texture

Making the Ravioli

Divide the dough into 4 parts
Make a ball of each part and dust and roll into a very thin large rectangle
If you have a ravioli press, keep a layer of dough on it
Fill the cavities with filling and then cover with another layer of dough. ( never overfill the cavities )
Roll the rolling pin over the press
Remove the raviolis from the press
If you don't have a ravioli press, roll the dough and using a ruler, cut the dough into 4 cm squares
Keep a little bit of filling in the center of the square and brush the edges of the square with little water
Cover with another square
Press nicely on the edges
Bring a large pot of water to a boil
Add salt and 3 tbsp olive oil to the pot
Add the raviolis and cook for 10 minutes on medium flame
Keep pushing the raviolis down with a ladle
Drain the Raviolis and add to the sauce

For Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Heat oil in a pan
Add garlic
When the garlic starts to brown, add all purpose flour
Fry for 15seconds
Add pumpkin puree
Cook for a minute
Add cream , milk, salt and pepper
Cook for a minute
Add Parmesan cheese and cook till the cheese melts
Add the Raviolis to the sauce
Garnish with chili flakes and parsley
Serve hot

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween party for my Kiddo

It's time for Halloween and we we also got involved in the celebration...Bhavye wanted to have his friends over for a spooky party....So we started with printing the invites.....

And their envelopes.........

Next came the decoration...I made wall accents using paper and colors....

The table was set in a spooky style.......

These is one of the side tables..

And this is the center table....

For the snacks,I made mummies with sausages wrapped in  pastry dough......

Brooms made with cheese and pretzels.....

Sugar cookies...

Spider webs made with pretzels and chocolate...

And here are the super stars of the night......

Monday, October 15, 2012

Homemade pizza with Chicken and veggies

I have been scouting for a pizza stone and a peel for a while and last week when I went to my favorite home improvement store, there they were, beautifully displayed on the center aisle along with all the other supplies , you would need to make a From scratch Pizza....Looked at my wallet and thanked god, that it was just the beginning of the month....I might have told you before that I am an impulsive shopper and love to hoard crockery , kitchen stuff and after I have started blogging PROPS for photography.....So by the month end, my wallet gives up and I am forced to sit at home, waiting for another 1st.....But trust me, this pizza stone and peel were the MONEY WELL SPENT ........The peel made the rolling and sliding the pizza in the oven effortless and the stone gave the crust a lovely crunch.....Moreover the recipe for this Pizza is a winner.... So even if you don't have a stone or a peel, go ahead and try this on a baking tray...You'r going to love it....So here is the recipe........

All you need is ( Makes 4  pizzas 8")

For the Pizza crust

Warm water-1\2 cup
Active dry yeast-2 and 1\4 tsp
All purpose four- 3 cups
Whole wheat flour- 1 cup
Room temperature water-1 and 1\4 cup
Salt-1 and 1\4 tsp
Olive oil- 2 tbsp

For the tomato sauce

Olive oil- 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves - 5-6 ( chopped )
Tomatoes-8 ( chopped )
Capsicum-1 ( chopped )
Onion-1 ( chopped )
Salt to taste
Sugar-2 tsp
Basil leaves-3-4 ( chopped ) You can use dried basil as well

For the grilled chicken

Chicken breast-2
Olive oil-2 tbsp
Black pepper

For the topping

Onion-1 ( thinly sliced )
Capsicum-1 ( cut in to small cubes )
Mozzarella cheese-1 cup
Olives-5-6 ( chopped )

Method of preparation

For the crust

Take warm water in a 2 cup measuring bowl
Sprinkle yeast on top
Keep aside for 5 minutes, till bubbles are formed
Add the room temperature water and olive oil to it
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add Whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and salt
Add the yeast water to it and with a dough hook, knead for 6-7 minutes ( if you don't have a stand mixer, knead the dough with your hands and keep kneading it with the heels of your hands for 10-12 minutes, till the dough is soft and elastic )
Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl
Cover the bowl with a cling wrap and keep aside for 2 hours, until the dough doubles in size
After the dough has doubled, take it out on a lightly floured surface
Punch it down and divide into 2 parts ( If you want to freeze the dough for later use, this is the time.Wrap in a cling wrap and then slide each round in a zip lock bag. Do not freeze the dough only wrapped with a cling wrap, as the dough with continue to rise even in the freezer and will come out of the cling wrap. To use the freezed dough, transfer it to the refrigerator, 12 hours before you want to use it. When the dough has thawed in the refrigerator, place it on the kitchen counter for at least 30 minutes or until it is at room temperature )
If you are using the dough immediately, make rounds of the dough and cover again with a cling wrap and let it rest for 10-15 minutes and no more than 30 minutes ( If you are using the dough immediately, start the mixing process just 2 and 1\2  hours before you want to bake it )

For the tomato sauce

Add olive oil in a pan
Add garlic and fry till light brown in color
Add Tomatoes, capsicum, onion, salt, sugar and basil leaves
Cover and cook for an hour on low heat
Keep stirring in between
Open the pan and cook till all the water has evaporated on high heat
Cool and keep aside

For the grilled chicken

Cut chicken into small pieces
Add olive oil, salt and pepper
Keep in the oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes

Assembling the pizza

Pre heat the oven to 500 degree F
If you have a pizza stone, keep it in the bottom half of the oven for at least 30 minutes
Sprinkle the baking sheet or peel with some fine semolina or cornmeal
Lightly flour your palms
Take one round  and divide it into half
Make a smooth ball of the dough
Using or hands, stretch the dough into a 8-9 inch round disk
Brush the crust of the pizza with olive oil
Spread 3 tbsp of tomato sauce on the pizza
Add grilled chicken, onions and capsicum
Sprinkle 1\4 cup of cheese
Put olives on top
Slide the pizza on the stone
Bake for 7-8 minutes, till the cheese has melted and pizza is bubbly and golden brown
Remove from the oven and slice with a pizza cutter
Serve hot

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Red lentil soup with Coconut milk

Before I could enjoy all the goodness that summers offered us, fall is already knocking on the door. Now I see apples, pears, pumpkins and squashes  everywhere ( And I love it ). It has started to get a little cold in the evening and the days are getting shorter each day.This soup is perfect Fall comfort in one bowl. Warm, hearty and delicious. This is all you need to cosy yourself in the cold fall evening. So here is the recipe.

All you need is

Red lentils-1 cup
Olive oil-3 tbsp
Garlic-2-3 cloves ( chopped )
Onion-1 cup ( chopped )
Jalapeno peppers-2  ( chopped )
Carrots-1\2 cup ( chopped )
Peas-1\2 cup
Tomato puree-1\2 cup
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder-1\2 tsp
Red chili powder-1\2 tsp ( optional )
Lemon juice-2 tbsp
Coconut milk-1 cup

Method of preparation

Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottom pan
Add garlic and fry till light brown in color
Add onions and pepper and fry for a minute
Add carrots, peas, lentils, tomato puree, salt, red chili powder and turmeric powder
Add 6 cups of water and cover and cook till lentils are soft and tender
Add coconut milk and lemon juice
Serve hot with some bread

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pear and raisin chutney

What do you do when you have a basket full of Pears lying on your counter, shouting to be used fast..?????  You make Pear Chutney.....This Chutney is so versatile, you can pair it with crackers or cheese or use as a topping for your grilled meat or lick it just like that....We even like to mix a little with our daily rice and lentil......This Chutney can be refrigerated for 3-4 weeks .....Use sterilized jars to store it....Just put the jar in boiling water for 10  minutes and then use it....

All the ingredients in the recipe are unprocessed  and so support my pledge I took with Andrew Wilder at Eating rules....Yes Unprocessed October...I will be cooking and eating unprocessed food for the entire month of October.....It sounds a little tough , but I'll try my level best.......

So here is the recipe...Do give it a try...

All you need is

Pears-1 and 1\2 kgs ( peeled, cored and chopped )
Brown sugar- 1 cup
White vinegar-1 cup
Balsamic vinegar-4 tsp
Onion-1 cup ( chopped )
Ginger-1 inch piece ( finely grated )
Garlic-3 cloves ( finely grated )
Raisins-1\2 cup
Cinnamon stick- 1 inch pieces ( 5-6 )
Salt- 2 tsp
Red chili powder-1 tsp

Method of preparation

Add white vinegar and sugar in a large heavy bottom pan
Bring to a boil
Add all the remaining ingredients
Cook on very slow heat for about an hour, until the mixture is thick
Using a potato masher, mash the pears a bit
Pour into hot sterilized jar and seal
This chutney keep well if  refrigerated for 3-4 weeks

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Apple and Pecan salad with Greek yogurt and Orange Ginger grilled Chicken

We went Apple picking ....YEY.....It totally made sense to drive 100 miles to pick up a few lbs of apples and pears ...The entire trip was wonderful....From me driving for the first time in the US TO Bhavye climbing on Mohit's shoulders to pick the fruits TO having a delicious meal at the farm 's barbecue TO coming back home after stopping at the outlet center for some shopping, everything made the day  just perfect.....Now the difficult part is to put these fruits to good use...I am not very fond of eating fruits on their own and neither is Bhavye.....So decided to make this wonderful and light salad for today's lunch.....IThis is one of the best salads I've ever had....The greek yogurt dressing was very light and refreshing.....If you are a vegetarian , go ahead with only the salad...So here is the recipe

All you need is

For Orange Ginger Grilled Chicken

  • Chicken breast-2
  • Fresh orange juice-1\2 cup
  • Soy sauce-1 tbsp
  • Rice vinegar- 1 tbsp
  • Black pepper powder-1\4 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil-2 tbsp

For the salad

  • Romaine lettuce-250 gms
  • Apples-2 ( cut into small pieces )
  • Pecans ( or walnuts )-1\2 cup
  • Greek yogurt ( or hung curd )-1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper -1\8 tsp

Method of preparation

Add all the ingredients for grilled chicken in a zip lock bag and refrigerate for 4-6 hours
Remove chicken from the bag and discard the liquid
Grill until browned from both the sides and cooked
If you don't have a grill, you can cook it in a pan over the heat with little oil
Cut into small pieces
Roast the pecans and chop them into small pieces
Mix all the ingredients for salad in a bowl
Top with grilled chicken
Serve immediately

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kahlua and pistachios brownie

Chocolate + pistachios + coffee + liqueur = Pure bliss....This is what these brownies are....

I am a impulsive shopper and have to buy things NOW...During one of those impulsive shopping spree in a liqueur store, I got this bottle of Kahlua and explained my husband that I am stuck with a lot of recipes because I don't have this liqueur....I told him I could have made so many recipes only if I had this...And such a darling he is, surprised me with another bottle....And let me tell you , it's been ONLY 6 months, since I bought this...So today guilt hit me and the bottle was dusted and opened....And what resulted was these dense, moist, chewy brownies with a crunch from the roasted Pistachios...Do give this recipe a try...It's delicious...

All you need is ( adapted from )

  • Pistachios-1\4 cup
  • Unsweetened dark chocolate-50 gms
  • Unsalted butter-75 gms
  • Sugar-3\4 cup
  • Eggs-2
  • Vanilla extract-1\2 tsp
  • Kahlua-1\4 cup (  you can substitute it with strong black coffee )
  • All purpose flour-1\2 cup and 2 tbsp
  • Baking powder-1\2 tsp
  • Salt-1\2 tsp

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease and line a 8 x 8 inch pan
Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
When the oven is hot toast the pistachios for 15 minutes and chop into small pieces
Melt chocolate and butter in a pan
Remove from heat
Whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and Kahlua in the pan
Add flour and pistachios and mix
Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes
Remove from the oven and cut into squares
Sprinkle with some cocoa powder

The brownies are usually best straight out of the oven but these are as great ,a day old....Store in a air tight container and enjoy ....

Linking my pictures to Fabulous food photography Friday hosted by Jehanne of

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